After putting in months of hard work, diet, and exercise, or undergoing bariatric surgery, you may have lost a great deal of weight and dramatically improved your confidence and body image — but your body still has a lot of the same skin you had when you were heavier. This is common situation for post-bariatric patients and for those who dieted on their own and lost a great deal of fat. The skin is damaged during weight gain, and the damage stands out after weight loss.
Loose skin can occur all over the body, or after one particular area after weight loss. Each person is unique and hence the treatment has to be tailored specifically. How much loose skin remains after weight loss can vary and depends on factors such as prior BMI, age, health, genetics and exposure to sun. Sagging skin can interfere with routine activities and cause chafing, irritation, rashes and other issues. It also makes finding the right size clothes a challenge and can make you feel that you are still a slimmer person inside a larger body.
Who is a good candidate?
- Stable weight for over a year with no further weight loss expected
- Good overall health. No chronic medical conditions.
- Healthy diet. Deficiencies can affect recovery from surgery
- Non-smoker or has quit for at least two months.
The surgery itself?
Plastic surgery post weight loss can involve multiple procedures depending on the location and amount of excess skin. These can include?
These procedures essentially involve marking and removing excess skin, and suturing to achieve desired contours.
How much plastic surgery post weight loss is needed?
Depending on the patient, it can be done in one surgery or in a staged manner. Procedure are combined to ensure patient convenience and recovery. Depending on your unique situation and body type, procedures such as an abdominoplasty, brachioplasty (under arm lift), and breast lift may be able to be completed at the same time. One factor your physician will consider is how long the combined procedure and anesthesia time will take; he or she will keep you safely within comfortable limits. Combined procedures are known to deliver spectacular improvements to body shape in a single operation.
The procedures will be discussed and prioritized as per your needs. If you have excess skin in multiple areas, there might be one area which is bothering or affecting you worse than others. This sequencing is done as per your desires.
Dr. Aniketh has trained in weight loss body contouring under Dr. Kevin Small, Head of the New York Bariatric Group Plastic Surgery.